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Tan’s Take: Titletown has to stop

The Daily’s Andrew Tan shares his thoughts on the Patriots’ Super Bow LIIl win as a New England fan himself

Disclaimer: The message that follows may cause many readers to roll their eyes, gag, or even renounce The Daily as a publication out of pure disgust. Nonetheless, the plight I hope to convey is one near and dear to my heart, and I hope you will hear me out.

With five seconds left on the clock in Super Bowl LIII, Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg “the Leg” Zuerlein lined up for a field goal that would cut the lead to a touchdown, leaving time for a potential onside kick recovery and Hail Mary attempt. My eyes glazed over the screen as I processed the result of the game. This kick didn’t really matter. The game was over; the Patriots had won their sixth Super Bowl championship in the eighteen years since my birth.

I knew we had won. I knew the Patriots had tied the record for Super Bowl championships by a franchise. I knew what this meant for the legacy of two men – Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. and Bill Belichick – whom I loved more than any other without the surname Tan. But I didn’t feel very excited. Sure I jumped up, handed out a few high-fives to my friends who couldn’t care less and did a lap around my house, but this reaction was quite subdued compared to my previous celebrations of Super Bowls XLIV and LI – thank you Malcolm Butler and Atlanta Falcons chokejob – and my mournings of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI – those darn New York Giants!

Maybe it was because the game was a snoozefest. After all, the game was 3-0 at halftime, and fans across America were searching for some semblance of action or excitement, which the halftime show unfortunately only exacerbated (yikes, that might have been the worst one yet). That couldn’t be it though; all I really cared about was that the Patriots won. So then why did I feel so indifferent? Indifferent probably isn’t the best way to describe it, but I felt satisfied and little more. What I would ultimately offer up as the answer to this perplexing emotional crisis is this: the city of Boston has won too much. Titletown has to stop.

In my lifetime, professional Boston sports teams have combined for a total of twelve championships – six for the Patriots, four for the Red Sox, one for the Celtics, and one for the Bruins (sure, I’ll throw them in there, even though hockey is really a Canadian sport). During the 21st century, Beantown has been the most successful urban area by far when it comes to bringing home hardware. At this point, Boston fans are just used to this.

Sure, there’s always a drive for more. That’s how greed works: the more successful you are, the more you come to expect it. But this mentality makes championships the norm, and the losses that much more crippling. If the Patriots had lost the most recent Super Bowl, I’m sure I would be devastated. Instead, as the GOAT raised his sixth Lombardi in Atlanta, I thought to myself: Yeah, this is pretty much how it goes.

Now I know I’m being completely unbearable right now and should just be thankful about what my sports teams have given me – after all, some fans only get a single championship in their whole life (look at our Sports Managing Editor Bobby Pragada, for example, a known Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia 76ers homer). However, step into my shoes – my Red Sox Vans – just for a moment.

Think of how boring it would get to win year after year with seemingly no competition. It’s no longer fun. Winning this much in this small of a window diminishes the value of any single championship. The experience of twelve titles in 18 years is akin to walking into a hotel with four different sets of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash; you think to yourself: what am I supposed to do with all of these? Truly, I don’t know. And although I will wear my Super Bowl LIII championship proudly, I think Boston needs another drought. 98 days just isn’t long enough.

 

Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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